Voters in Tajikistan on May 20 approved changes to the country's constitution that will allow President Emomali Rahmon to rule indefinitely. Voters approved amendments to remove presidential term limits, lower the minimum age for presidential candidates from 35 to 30 and ban religiously based political parties. The first provision allows Rakhmon, 63, to extend his rule, which he has held since 1992. The second provision would allow his son, Rustam Emomali, 29, to be able to run for president in the next election in 2020. The final provision would continue to ban the main opposition Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan, which was declared a terrorist organization and banned last year. Election authorites reported that the 41 proposed amendments were approved by 94.5% of voters, with 92% turnout.
Tajikistan's Constitutional Court approved the proposed constitutional amendments in February. In 2014 the UN Special Rapporteur on torture urged the Tajikistan government to implement policies and laws that have been previously adopted by the government in order to end torture and ill-treatment within the country. Amnesty International has reported that torture, beatings and ill-treatment of detainees are common practice in Tajikistan.
From Jurist, May 23. Used with permission.